Get Ahead of Your Nasal Allergies!
See a Nasal Allergy Specialist in New Orleans
Dr. Reena Mehta is a board-certified nasal allergy specialist in New Orleans that can help you and your children thrive over nasal allergies.
“Dr. Mehta is amazing. She successfully diagnosed and treated my son’s allergies. What sets Dr. Mehta apart, though, is her kindness. She spent an extraordinary amount of time with us and explained everything with a combination of science, knowledge, caring and compassion. She was always also available by email or phone. Thanks to Dr. Mehta, my son is living a happy, healthy life unimpeded by allergies.“
– Beth H, 18-year old son Ben, January 2019
Nasal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, occur when something you’re allergic to irritates the mucous membrane of the nose. Many individuals with allergic rhinitis are also prone to eye allergies, and allergic rhinitis tends to make asthma symptoms worse for individuals who suffer from both conditions.
Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is triggered by pollen in the air from trees, grass, ragweed, and other plants during different times of the year. Hay fever symptoms tend to flare up in the spring and the fall when pollen counts are higher.
Perennial Allergic Rhinitis
Perennial allergic rhinitis is triggered by indoor allergens like skin, urine and saliva found on pet dander, mold, droppings from dust mites, and cockroach particles. Symptoms from indoor allergens typically occur year-round and are less severe than symptoms caused by seasonal outdoor allergens.
Allergic rhinitis symptoms include:
- Itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat, or eyes
- Stuffy nose (congestion)
- Runny nose
- Tearing eyes
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Mucus (phlegm) in the throat – this is also called “postnasal drip”
The term ‘rhinitis’ describes inflammation of the nasal lining that’s caused by an allergic reaction or an infection. This inflammation increases sensitivity to inhalants, which is why symptoms of allergic rhinitis may also occur when you’re exposed to smoke, strong odors, changes in temperature or humidity, and other irritants.
Seasonal Nasal Allergies or the Common Cold?
It’s common to mistake seasonal nasal allergies for the common cold or vise versa. The common cold typically lasts about one week. On the other hand, seasonal allergies tend to occur at the same time every year and last as long as the allergen is in the air, usually 2-3 weeks per allergen. Another important distinction is that allergies cause itching in the nose and eyes, whereas the common cold typically doesn’t.
Dr. Mehta can help you determine if your symptoms are caused by allergies, and pinpoint what you’re allergic to so you can find relief. Diagnosis starts with a thorough medical history, and usually involves skin or blood tests to determine your allergic triggers.
Once you’re aware of what’s causing your allergies, there are steps you can take to minimize exposure to allergens, effectively manage allergic reactions if they occur, and prevent certain allergic reactions altogether.
Be Cautious During Times of High Pollen Counts
Limit your exposure to seasonal allergens:
- Check your local pollen counts whenever you check the weather
- Limit outdoor activities during times of high pollen counts
- Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to reduce pollen exposure when outdoors
- Keep windows closed during high pollen and mold seasons
- Steam clean carpets or remove carpets altogether
Allergy-Proof Your Home
These tips can help you minimize exposure to allergens in your home:
- Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce pet dander in your bedding
- Vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce dust in your home
- Wash your bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent frequently to reduce allergens
- Use dust mite proof covers for pillows, comforters, duvets, mattresses and box springs
Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
Allergy shots are a proven treatment approach that can provide long-term relief for many people suffering from allergic rhinitis.
Medications to Manage Symptoms
There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms. These include:
- Nasal corticosteroids
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists
- Cromolyn sodium
Be sure to discuss any medications with your allergist prior to using them. Medications to relieve seasonal allergic rhinitis are most effective if you start taking them before pollen is in the air, prior to allergy symptoms developing.
See a Nasal Allergy Specialist in New Orleans
See a nasal allergy specialist in New Orleans, LA if your allergies are causing you discomfort. Doctor Mehta has a reputation for developing strong relationships with her patients and being exceptionally attentive to their needs and concerns.
Call us anytime, M-F, 8am-5pm.
Saturday appointments available upon request.
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